President Mwanawasa off to attend TICAD

Lusaka- Zambia (PANA) -- Zambian president, Levy Mwanawasa left Sunday for Japan to attend the third Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) scheduled 29 September to 1 October.
Mwanawasa told reporters shortly before departure that he would first stop in London for medical check-up, as he has not been feeling well lately.
But he did not disclose what was ailing him.
Mwanawasa will also use the time in London to meet the minister of State for Overseas Development Assistance, Baroness Amos, and officials from the Commonwealth Business Council in order to sell Zambia to prospective investors.
About 30 African heads of state and government are expected to attend the TICAD, in addition to delegates from Asia, international donor organisations and NGOs.
Japanese ambassador to Zambia, Hiroyuki Ishi described the upcoming meeting as being very important to Africa since "major issues pertaining to development in Africa will be discussed" at the forum.
"Through the TICAD process, which celebrates its tenth anniversary this year, Japan has been advocating for ownership of the development process by African countries and is now welcoming NEPAD, adopted by the African Union last year, as a token of Africa's ownership," Ishi told reporters.
He noted that the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD), in particular, has been incorporated into the TICAD process.
"NEPAD will be one of the most important pillars of TICAD and all participants are expected to discuss how to support this newly- born and epoch-making initiative for African countries," Ishi said.
TICAD is an international forum co-sponsored by the government of Japan and international organisations such as the UNDP where stakeholders meet to discuss and exchange views on Africa's development in order to appreciate the extent of Africa's development crisis and to enhance its visibility to the international community.
The consolidation of peace and governance on the continent, development of agriculture, private sector and infrastructure on the continent, as well as information and communication technology (ICT) are among agenda items for discussion at TICAD next week.
The conference will further discuss the promotion of tourism, human resource development and the effect of HIV/AIDS on the development process of Africa's development.

21 Setembro 2003 13:59:00

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